May 12, 2009


(Note: I had saved this, and for some reason it lost the format that I had saved it with, so I tried to fix most of it, but when i publish it, it changes back to some other format...sorry!)

Christina Escamilla

May 12, 2009

Women's Studies

Final Paper- Feminism

What does Feminism mean to me? My own current definition of feminism is the idea that not

only are women equals in every sense of the word, but all humans are

equal as well. I think that Feminism means fighting for equality and destroying sexism.

Feminism to me, is going to a small town in India, and fighting for the rights of the

young children who are being sold into sex slavery. Feminism is going to a country in Africa and

teaching young girls about condoms. Feminism is whatever I want it to be. In the video we

watched in class where it asked a lot of different people what their idea of feminism was, that is

the reality of feminism, feminism can morph into many different definitions. The wikipedia

definition is: Feminism is the idea that women should have political, social, sexual, intellectual

and economic rights equal to those of men.

How the world views Feminism is very different depending on where you go.

In Arab countries, feminism can be a small thing, such as writing a book, or speaking out

against female circumcision. In "Understanding the other sister: The case of Arab feminism"

Susan Muaddi Darraj discusses the current state of feminism in most Arab countries.

One story she tells is of a writer, and a noted Arab feminist, where she received a lawsuit against her

demanding her and her husband get a divorce because of some comments

she made earlier. The Egyptian lawsuit was because the comments she had made in a earlier

interview were said to have been apostasy, which is the renunciation of

Islam. She fought this lawsuit, and was able to keep her thirty-seven year marriage. In Rwanda,

feminism is just beginning to bear its head in the community. After the 1994 genocide of millions,

and the rape of thousands of women, it left the country completely raw and bare. Many women

became the head of households after the massacre, and were forced to provide for their families.

The women have bonded together, not to fight for equal pay, or pregnancy leave, but for basic

human rights, which are often denied to people in third world countries. Not just third world

countries, but also countries were habits, like the treatment of women are embedded into the

daily lives of the people. Western feminists often forget that we have it good, to a certain

extent. Eastern women have so many advantages compared to the women in the rest of the world. We're

allowed to vote, we don't have to undergo female circumcision, we can go to school, etc. Those

are just the basics. These basics should be provided to every person.

The history of feminism started with what many would call the first wave. "The F word" by

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner discusses the first wave in great detail. The women's suffrage

movement was the first push for equality for women, and this battle was fought long and hard.

In the movie "Iron Clawed Angles" it portrayed the fight for equality, a little over dramatic, but

it still showed the journey that many women had to take. The second wave of feminism began in

the 60's when women wanted to become more than just a stay at home mom. The battle for

equal pay began, that battle is still going on to this day. Following the second wave was the third

wave in feminism, this began around the late 1980's and continues to this day. The third wave

started in response to the slack in change, its almost as if we reach a certain point, and then stop

striving for anything more. Feminism is still alive and well.

I am a feminist. I am a feminist because I believe that everyone deserves a equal shot.

No matter, who you are or what you believe, there are certain rights, that should not be denied

to anyone. More than a feminist, I believe I am a humanist.


The Feminism video (we watched in class)

Iron Clawed Angles (HBO film)

The F word by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

"Understanding the other sister: The case of Arab feminism" by Susan Muaddi Darraj

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